“I did not set out to design a geodesic dome,” Fuller once said, “I set out to discover the principles operative in Universe. For all I knew, this could have led to a pair of flying slippers.” This playful declaration stands as a concise summary of the philosophy behind Fuller’s life’s work and introduces the relationship of synergetics to design. “Design science,” in the most general terms, maintains that faithful observation of Universe is the basis of successful invention. The idea therefore is not to invent some strange new gadget, hoping there will be a market for it, but rather to tap into the exquisite workings of nature. While the significance of scientific discoveries is not always immediately understood, the accumulated “generalized principles” have been applied in innovative ways throughout history, producing artifacts which have gradually transformed the physical environment. Therein lies the key to humanity’s success aboard Spaceship Earth, explains Bucky Fuller.
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